Verses I wish weren't in the Bible: Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matt 7:21-23)
This is probably one of the, if not the, passages in the Bible I like least.
If I recall correctly, a repeated name is like a term of endearment. Does that mean these people are saying, “My dearest Lord” or maybe, in modern terms, “My sweet Jesus?” Are these people who truly think they love Jesus?
These people did the work of the kingdom, and I’m not just talking about feeding the poor and preaching the gospel; they drove out demons and performed miracles! They did what we would think of as Spirit empowered things, and yet they do not belong to Jesus.
And so Jesus will say to them, “I never knew you.” What words would you want to hear less than those?
The one who will enter the kingdom is “he who does the will of my Father.” And that is not, apparently, loving Jesus or doing wonderful things in His name. That should send us searching furiously through the scriptures to find out exactly what those words mean.
I think most believers have the occasional moment when they wonder if they’re really saved. In those moments, this verse scares the life out of me.